Minimizing, reducing waste and living simply all sounds great until it comes to your health. Then what – a full-stop of your lifestyle, or making sacrifices when it comes to taking care of your body? Thankfully when it comes to a low-waste allergy season, there’s some room in between where we can find balance.
Guest Post Written by Kayla Ihrig of Writing From Nowhere
Disclosure: Old World New uses affiliate links.
*As always, if you can find an item locally, do that. If not, enjoy these Amazon finds!*
I’m Kayla, blogger at Writing From Nowhere and chronic allergy sufferer. My allergies started with the usual culprit, pollen season, but keep partying year-round with reactions to everyday actors such as soaps, dyes in fabrics and many common chemicals.
Whatever type of allergist you are – sneezer, cougher, itcher – these tips can help you reduce waste and have a less miserable allergy season.
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5 Tips For a Low-Waste Allergy Season
Until we as a society successfully complete our circular economy and it’s accessible to everyone, the average person will not be able to pull off a perfect low-waste allergy season. Finding compromises and affordable solutions is key to making a low-waste allergy season reasonable and affordable to everyone.
1. Choose Antihistamines In Bottles Over Individual Tear-Off Packets
Allergy pills often come in two different types of packaging: tear-off packets and bottles. They both come with disposable parts, but looking for the most efficient packaging will help reduce some waste further.
Efficient packaging translates to fewer materials used, reduced transportation costs and an overall lower carbon footprint.
Bottled pills provide more antihistamines than tear-off packages, will last you longer before you need to drive back to the store to replenish and the bottle may be recyclable.
It’s not perfect, but it’s an improvement. This is also a convenient low-waste allergy season tip because it also saves you money. The next tip will take those savings even further.
2. Order Allergy Pills In Bulk
The standard plastic bottles of allergy medicine contain a few unavoidable waste items: the box, the bottle and the seal. I’m not aware of any plastic-free allergy pills on the market. And if they are out there, they would probably be out of many allergy-sufferers price range.
When you need antihistamines, you need antihistamines.
Instead of buying the standard bottle of 30 allergy pills, buy allergy pills in bulk.
By buying allergy medicine in bulk, you reduce the annual waste from 12 bottles into one.
Naturally, the bottle you buy is slightly bigger, but certainly not 12 times bigger than the standard packaging.
You can buy an entire year’s supply (365 pills) in one bottle from Amazon for less than $20. Low-waste allergy season and budget win.
3. Specifically Target Your Allergens If They’re In Your Home
To know your
enemies allergies is to know yourself.
Knowing your allergies gives you the opportunity to manage them at the source instead of just reacting after you’re already uncomfortable.
As an itchy individual with allergens surrounding me everyday, I admit that this step for a low-waste allergy season never occurred to me until I was probed by a follower on Instagram about managing mold in her bathroom shower curtain.
Her husband had a severe mold allergy, and she was looking for solutions that targeted the allergen at the source. A brilliant approach that we can try to apply to all common allergens!
Short of leaving town during pollen season, pollen might seem relatively unavoidable, but we are actually in enclosed (and therefore manageable) spaces more often than we’re outside.
2. Dust Mites
According to The Mayo Clinic, dust mites can be greatly reduced but not eradicated from your home. They offer some of these tips for managing your dust mite allergy:
Wash bedding weekly. The Mayo Clinic says that to be effective at killing dust mites, the water must be at least 130 F (54.4 C) hot. There is still room to reduce the impact of your laundry routine, despite the use of hot water which is much more energy-intensive than cold water. Use a low-waste detergent, such as the EcoEgg (my favorite laundry detergent ever), and hang-dry or spin-dry laundry instead of using a mechanical dryer.
Be a minimalist. Well, those weren’t the exact words The Mayo Clinic used, but they advise removing clutter (which collects dust). We all knew minimalism was life-changing, but who knew it helped you have a low-waste allergy season!
You can find more in-depth information on managing dust mites on The Mayo Clinic’s website.
There are a number of ways to manage mold naturally, such as hydrogen peroxide, vinegar and tea tree oil, to name a few.
Be investigative about where mold comes from and see if you can help reduce moisture in that specific area. Improved air circulation, a dehumidifier or even certain moisture-sucking plants may be simple enough to discourage mold growth in problem areas.
WebMD recommends washing your pet weekly to help manage allergies, but I reckon whoever wrote that didn’t have a pet. Also, the vague word choice of “pet” seems to imply that they suggest washing your cat weekly.
4. Use A Hankie
Disposable tissues are made from trees and come in plastic packaging, but their most offensive quality?
They’re *terrible* to use.
You deserve better. Go get yourself a hankie instead.
Some side benefits of a hankie increased class and sophistication.
A hankie is one of those low-waste on-the-go items that you should always have in your bag. Once you start carrying one, you’ll wonder how you ever lived before.
5. Tackle Symptoms Naturally With Essential Oils
The potential physical reactions to allergens are plentiful: inflammation, mucus, phlegm, coughing and so on.
Those are all symptoms that essential oils can help ease. Some essential oils are even believed to have antihistamine properties! Try alleviating your allergy symptoms with peppermint, lavender and eucalyptus essential oils, to name a few.
Essential oils are extremely concentrated which diminishes the need for packaging, makes the products last a long time and reduces the carbon footprint of transporting the goods.
To take the impact of this low-waste allergy season tip further, choose essential oils that have a transparent supply chain and are committed to ethical sourcing, such as dōTERRA.
Low-Waste Allergy Season Final Thoughts
I hope these tips will help you have a more enjoyable low-waste allergy season. Do you have anything to add? What steps do you take to have a low-waste allergy season?